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"Our Continuing Duty..."

It was a fair, fall Tuesday morning 20 years ago to this day when I was running late for school. I was in 10th grade at the time, shortly before turning 16.

I was washing my hair in the shower when my kid brother burst into the bathroom screaming, "Becky, you have to (bleeping) see this! A jumbo jet has just crashed into the World Trade Center."

I yelled at him, "Matt, what the f...?! Get out of here!"

"The whole building is on fire! You have to see this, NOW!" as he literally grabbed my arm and pulled me from the shower as I grabbed a small face towel on the way out of the bathroom trying to get the shampoo out of my eyes.

A few seconds later I was standing naked and dripping wet in our living room, shocked and horrified at what I was seeing on the TV shortly before 8 AM (CT).

Not long afterward, the second plane hit as we were watching it happen live on CNN. I screamed in horror. I don't know for how long. My brother said it was for a couple minutes. I still can't get that sight out of my mind. I never will.

Our next door neighbor was walking her dog and heard me scream and came to our front door, worried. My mom answered the door and told her what was happening. When she saw what was transpiring, she was soon frantically on the phone, worried about her son who was in New York (when she finally reached him, she learned he was ok).

My older brother walked in soon afterward, too, with his two car pool buddies (one who later enlisted after he graduated in 2002), saying they were almost at school and turned around when they heard the news on the radio and correctly figured there was no point in continuing to school. With our neighbor, they too couldn't take their eyes off the TV (well, OK, the boys weren't looking at the TV all the time 馃槉 ).

I just sat there, glued to the TV for hours, unable to leave (for those that must know, my mom went upstairs for a bit to make some phone calls and came down with a sweatshirt for me to put on so I didn't have to continue to rely on just a hand bra for modesty.)

I couldn't believe this was happening. In my teen years, the Cold War had ended. The Evil Empire was dead! We were supposed to be at peace!

As the day wore on, my anger grew. And continued to all week as we learned more of how the terrorist attacks happened.

It was a transforming moment. I hadn't paid much attention to foreign affairs. I was more into boys (or rather they were into me 馃槉 ). That all changed (well, except for the part about boys). I became much more interested in not only foreign affairs, but politics in general.

Although (regrettably) I voted for John Kerry in 2004 (my first choice was Dick Gephardt) because I was disappointed in the Bush administration's screw-up in Iraq (not the decision to go in, but how badly we f*cked up the end game), foreign policy and national defense issues became a major decision in who I'd later support for president. Therefore: John McCain, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. No regrets with any of them

Then this past January 6th, I watched Il Duce make that insurrectionist speech to that Fascist mob, I knew there would be trouble when he said he was going to march to the Capitol with them. But never did I think I'd see the what transpired at the Capitol, the seat of our government, the Citadel of Democracy.

Forty innocent passenger and crew died on 9/11 when brave passengers forced the terrorists who hijacked United Flight 93 to crash the plane into the ground in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The terrorists had planned to crash the plane into the Capitol. Thanks to brave passengers who gave their lives to save the many hundreds of lives that would have been lost, as well as the destruction of our Capitol, the terrorists' plan failed.

So I felt that same shock and anger as I had on 9/11, anger at how Il Duce incited that disgusting, sickening Fascist mob, anger at the incompetence of Capitol security planning and anger at Il Duce's minions in the Congress who were, even after an attack on our nation's Capitol, were still trying to undo the results of the 2020 election in support of that POS in the White House, like nightcrawlers in the middle of the night.

President George W. Bush reassured us on September 20, 2001:

[quote]We are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.[/quote]

Today he reminded us:

[quote]As a nation, our adjustments have been profound. Many Americans struggled to understand why an enemy would hate us with such zeal. The security measures incorporated into our lives are both sources of comfort and reminders of our vulnerability. And we have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within. There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.[/quote]

Just about all I remember of 9/11 was after the first plane hit... I got this huge sense of shock and disbelief. I felt dizzy and nauseous for a few moments as I dissociated.

The pain and suffering of those people became my own - and it was just too much for me to handle.

Later on, they said that a second plane had hit... and I couldn't believe it - so I watched for myself. Yeah, a second plane hit. This time, the last thing I recall is thinking "Why???". As the nausea and dizziness came over me again. This time, it felt worse than the first time.

I stayed in a dissociated state for longer after that and I only found out about the attack on the Pentagon through a newspaper... I don't recall how much later that was, but I still see the pictures of the mangled towers and the firemen caked in so much dust. I think that those will haunt me forever.

Even though I am not American and I have no connection to America, I still feel like a part of me died that day.
BackyardShaman61-69, M
I was on my way to work when the news hit the FM radio, ahead of me was a lady co worker distracted by the news on her radio, she totaled out her car.
Ladyred46-50, F
We are we the people of these United States. We have enemies but hate cannot be defeated with hate, division, anger..We must believe we are who we signed up to be! (;
eli160161-69, M
馃ぃ January 6 馃ぃ

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